Manual Therapy

Manual therapy is a form of physical, hands-on treatment that is used by many types of medical professionals to address musculoskeletal ailments and injuries. The three main types of manual therapy are manipulation, mobilization, and massage. Medical professionals that utilize manual therapy include massage therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, osteopaths, and osteopathic physicians. 

Manipulation: Rapid application of force in a rotational, shear, or distraction direction to a joint articulation. This frequently occurs with a popping sound. 

Mobilization: Slow, controlled passive movement of a joint to achieve a therapeutic effect. 

Massage: Repetitive kneading, rubbing, or stripping of myofascial tissues to improve interstitial fluid dynamics.


Purposes for Manual Therapy in Physical Therapy

Purposes for manual therapy in physical therapy include:

  • Decreasing pain
  • Increase range of motion
  • Reducing soft tissue inflammation
  • Inducing relaxation
  • Improving contractile and non-contractile tissue repair, extensibility, and/or stability
  • Facilitating movement
  • Improving function

Styles of Manual Therapy 

Acupressure Joint Mobilization Physiotherapy
Anma Massage Therapy Polarity Therapy
ASTR Matrix Energetics Rolfing Structural Integration
Bodywork Manual Lymphatic Drainage Seitai
Bone Setting Medical Acupuncture Spinal Manipulation
Bowen Technique Muscle Energy Techniques Spinal Mobilization
Chiropractic Myofascial Release Sotai
Cranio-Sacral Therapy Myotherapy Shiatsu
Dorn Method Naprapathy Traction
Integrative Manual Therapy Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Tui Na
Joint Manipulation Osteopathy Zero Balancing


Manual Therapy and ASTR

Advanced Soft Tissue Release (abbreviated as ASTR) is a new manual therapy specialty that is revolutionizing the way patients experience long-term pain relief. ASTR treats pain in a gentle, effective, and natural way by releasing scar tissue, trigger points, and fascia restriction. ASTR takes a holistic approach to address the root causes of pain, not just the symptoms. Many patients experience relief from pain after their first treatment! Learn how ASTR can help you or watch testimonial videos from patients who experienced pain relief through ASTR treatment.